The hippocampal region of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice of varying ages was examined for any morphological changes by light and electron microscopy. Unusual periodic acid-Schiff-positive granules were seen in the hippocampal area of these animals as early as the fourth week of life and their numbers increased gradually with age. These granules were never found in control C57BL/6J (B6) mice before six months-of-age and their numbers were invariably low. They were strongly congophilic when stained with a modified Congo Red technique and reacted with a monoclonal antibody specific to amino acids 17-24 and 3543 of the β-amyloid peptide. The immunostaining of these granules with the β-amyloid peptide was lost after specific adsorption with the appropriate synthetic peptide. These granules were identified ultrastructurally as non-membrane-bound fibrillogranular material in the cytoplasm of protoplasmic astrocytes. The data indicate that an amyloid-like protein accumulates in the protoplasmic astrocytes of the hippocampus of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, especially in the brains of old animals.
- Apolipoprotein E